FTC agrees to consent decree in Air Products-Airgas mergerAir Products and Chemicals has finally made Airgas an offer it can't refuse.

Earlier this week, Air Products boosted its offer to buy the rival company to $65.50 per share - about $5.5 billion - but said the offer won't stand if Airgas shareholders don't elect its board slate and approve its bylaw proposals.

Now, the Federal Trade Commission has accepted a consent decree in connection with the proposed acquisition.

"The consent decree permits Air Products to acquire Airgas subject to the divestiture of certain assets and permits, for a period of time, the closing of the acquisition prior to completion of the divestiture," the company explains in a press release. "The assets to be divested relate primarily to Airgas' liquid bulk and on-site supply of atmospheric gases, including production and related assets."

However, the acquisition won't be complete until Airgas agrees to abide by Air Products' bylaws.

"All of the principal conditions to completing a transaction with Airgas have been satisfied," said Air Products CEO, chairman and president John E. McGlade. "The only thing standing in the way of Airgas shareholders receiving a substantial premium for their shares now is the continued refusal of the Airgas Board to engage with Air Products on any level."
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